[PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES]. REAGAN, Ronald. Autograph letter signed ("Ronald Reagan") as President to Dr. William Coleman, Washington, D.C., 19 February 1985. 1 full page, in black marker on White House imprinted stationery, with matching envelope addressed in the President's hand.
A RARE, HANDWRITTEN PRESIDENTIAL THANK-YOU FOR THE GIFT OF AN ENGRAVED DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
While the White House, over the years, had amassed important collections of American furniture, decorative arts and paintings, it lacked a copy of any of the early, actual-size engravings of the Declaration of Independence. In honor of Independence Day in 1984, Dr. Coleman, who had made a study and census of the Stone's 1823 official engraving, presented a copy of the parchment printed document to the White House collection (see notes to lot 369). The gift was gratefully acknowledged by the 40th President in a rare full handwritten letter:
"I know Nancy [the First Lady] & Clem Conger [Curator of the White House Collection] have written to thank you for your generous gift, the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence. Living in this historic old home one can't help but feel a sense of history and a reverence for our heritage. Gifts such as yours add so much to that feeling for all who live in or visit the White House, May I add my heartfelt thanks to those you have already received. God bless you."
[With:] REAGAN, Nancy, First Lady. Typed letter signed ("Nancy Reagan") to Dr. & Mrs. Coleman, The White House, 29 August 1984. 1 page 8vo, White House stationery, original typed envelope. "I am very pleased to learn the White House is once again in possession of a copy of the first facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, an important addition to our archival collection..." -- CONGER, Clement E., White House Curator, Typed letter signed to the same, 20 June 1984. 1¼pp., 4to, White House stationery. Reporting that the gift Declaration will be on special exhibition in the East Room of the White House. Together three items. (3)